Review: Gozer ‘An Endless Static’
Atmospheric sludge just does this thing to me where my heart can flourish, my thoughts melt into oblivion, and I can drift away from my anxiety. Harsh noise that, to me, seems so lush and homey I can cleanse everything in my mind so bleak and dark thoughts get a nice, wholesome scrub. Constantly checking out the latest bands has led me to the realization that most simply follow the blueprint of creating nothing more than Neurosis or Cult of Luna worship, or if EyeHateGod had a few pop beats spliced in. Can Gozer wash my soul clean bringing me to head bang so hard I’m left a sore mess and I bravely send myself into a nice relaxing Epsom salt bath? Or will I simply be knocking my forehead against a wall listlessly? All while still taking that Epsom salt bath, of course. I’m not a monster.
Gozer is a United Kingdom based trio comprised of TJ Fairfax on drums and vocals, Keiran Sockett on bass and vocals, and Craig Paul on guitar. Additional guitars on An Endless Static are provided by former Archelon member Jon Reynolds. Gozer have performed with the likes of BIG|BRAVE, and Trivax so they’ve been in good company for a while now. Debut single Crown Eater was featured on the coolest damn compilation ever entitled You Matter which features 101 tracks from all my heroes to collect money for PAPYRUS, a suicide prevention charity.
Initial gestures for album opener Into The Grey show off sludgy tones thicker than lightly dried over mud slipping around your bare feet after you’ve been chased from some crazy hallucination. Vocals delivered in a tone so baritone I have to imagine either Fairfax or Sockett had a severe headache after each recording. Or maybe they just went through puberty twice and this is natural for them? You’ve run for so long any idea of where you’re going, who you’re running from, or where you came from is gone, you only know you need to flee.
Guitars strummed so clear and crisp initially, quickly turn rancid with distortion from being drawn out for so long. Each step could be your last, but you continue, knowing that stopping would lead to death. The drumming is so layered each bang gains a dizzying effect. Guitars grow in dimension to match the drumming. Vocals gain an echo. Psychedelic sludge heaven is achieved, and a brooding schizophrenic atmosphere engulfs and we’ve taken off on a skittering journey.
The goth rock inspired first seconds of Augur fill the speakers with shades darker than before. A clinking percussion from some archaic instrument dances with the viola strings performed by Ba’al’s Richard Spencer. His strings are so tight I can hear them verge to near snapping, but Spencer’s precision is handled so skilfully, each bow lands with ease. Furious shifts in tone occasionally occur but never feel random, keeping the song on edge.
Impressing me further, these lads have created an undeniable elegance that glides seamlessly with the growled lyrics telling ghost stories adding to the goth elements. The guitar meanders free from the gloom momentarily and verges into power chord territory. The drums and bass corner it down, slowing its pace, forcing the guitar to snarl towards a funeral paced dirge that march out the track until ‘lights out, the sun is gone’ is repeated over what sounds like a field recording of a dying plea from a grizzled old man.
a brooding schizophrenic atmosphere engulfs and we’ve taken off on a skittering journey…
A Fading Light has an epic weight that Gozer immediately feels fit to throw around. Each word and instrument are played and lost almost immediately into the ether making everything fold in upon itself. Hundred Year Old Man’s Thomas Wright lends his synths and French horn shifting the angular harshness heard previously into something much more fragile and beautiful. The ugliness is, of course, ever present. It surrounds the new delicateness like a beast protecting a newborn apex predator. The gorgeousness joins the vulgarity and a collage between beauty and filth howls creating some sort of orchestrated symphony drizzled in grime.
The spider like execution of Desiderium is so easy to lose yourself in. Tribal drumming leads the way, my pupils dilate and my brain attempts to follow. I grow perceptive and childlike while sitting next to my speakers. Sharp crescendos come and go with no breaks. Vocals, performed and penned by Simon Mason of Torpor, come shrieking and laid atop the gorgeous viola performed, again, by Richard Spencer.
The band is fully alive here, nothing is hidden away and each member shines like a diamond. The somber parts allow the visual landscape to truly flourish but Gozer still gives us patches of breathing room. This is the track I’ve had to listen to the most. It’s so damn complex, my dumb brain needs repeated listens to only begin to break it apart well enough to really appreciate this thing.
And here we are, the final track Wintercearig. Static feedback begins. A sinister guitar drips in a way that almost feels defeated as it walks down a never-ending hallway until a cannon-like blast crashes against the backdraft. Gozer have proven their well-oiled machine to be so strong that this last piece shows this monster flexing the strength I’ve found ridiculously apparent from the first listen.
This band understands each part to its whole, all while knowing how to incorporate and play with others. The ugly parts bleed into the pretty parts always at appropriate times, nothing lacks importance. Take away anything and it would all crumble, but all joined together it’s an unstoppable nightmare. And sometimes nightmares find friends to add to the experience.
Label: Trepanation Recordings
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Scribed by: Richard Murray